Casamance Rebellion Essay

739 words - 3 pages

The Casamance rebellion crisis remains one of the most forgotten wars in the region. The Casamance conflict is part of numerous civil wars of post-colonial Africa. It opposes the Senegalese State and the Mouvement des Forces Démocratiques de la Casamance (MFDC). The MFDC has been fighting for the independence of Casamance province since 1982 but to this period has failed to achieve this goal. Over the decades, help has come from many big organizations such as the World Bank, Senegalese Red Cross and Amnesty International, to name but a few. In the framework of inter-culturality, we may ask how culture can be used as a positive force during periods of war and violence? We will examines some of the ways that culture can have in helping to return peace in West Africa's longest running civil war. How can culture improve communication and raise a sense of harmony during violence and tension? The objective of this paper then is to analyze the Casamance conflict to find ways and means to bring peace in terms of culture.Senegal gained independence from France in 1960. President Leopold Senghor became the first President. He assured the Casamancais to be free if they stayed as part of the country for twenty years. When Senghor left in 1980, this understanding was not fulfilled. A struggle for independence followed between the Mouvement des Forces Democratique de Casamance (MFDC) and the Government of Senegal. Over the years, a number of groups within the MFDC divided. This has made it difficult to find an agreement among the Movement itself. Currently, satisfaction to bring peace to Casamance has resulted in economic, social and cultural suffering for everyone. Ata Bodian is a counselor for Les Collectifs des Casamancais, a group advocating a non-violent solution to the conflict. He works as a mediator between the MFDC and the national government. He says that the conflict initially sprung from a debate over land rights and cultural differences.Many Senegalese are Wolof and Muslim. In Casamance, there is a higher percentage of Diola. They are predominantly Christians or animists. There are almost two-dozen different ethnic groups living side by side, each of which have their own language and, to a certain point, culture. No one is completely of single ethnic group. This situation makes it problematic to give one precise "cultural identity" to any individual person. The Diola (Jola),...

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